All Central College Abroad programs include a comprehensive on-site orientation led by our resident directors at the beginning of each semester. This time is designed to introduce students to their new surroundings and assist them in the cultural immersion process. The resident directors register each participant with the U.S. Consulate or Interest Section. They have also reviewed in-depth safety and security measures for their respective countries and share this information during orientation. In our more urban locations, orientation may even include a visit from local law enforcement to provide safety tips and precautions.
In addition to adjusting to life in another country, students may be adjusting to life in a large city. Below are common guidelines CCA urges all students to follow:
- Travel documents: Make two copies of your passport – leave one at home and pack the other in your bags. Keep your passport and other travel documents on you at all times while traveling. Report a lost or stolen passport to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate IMMEDIATELY.
- Car rental: Student car rental is actively discouraged. All program sites have excellent public transportation and all are notorious for overcrowded streets and highways.
- Hitchhiking: Hitchhiking is practiced by some Americans and Europeans, though forbidden by law in several countries and considered to be dangerous. We actively discourage hitchhiking.
- Prevent pick pocketing: We suggest investing in a money belt or neck wallet and keep them concealed under your clothing. Always be cautious in crowds in the subway, marketplace, at a festival, or when surrounded by groups of people. Coat pockets, handbags and hip pockets are particularly susceptible to theft.
- Don’t draw attention: Don’t flash large amounts of money when paying for items. Talk quietly on public transportation and in eating or drinking venues. In many countries, Americans are stereotyped as being loud. Be especially conscious of this when in a large group.
- Meeting new people: Exercise good judgment when establishing new relationships with strangers. Don’t give out your address or phone number to just anyone. Politely decline food or drinks from strangers.
- A note to women: Be aware that many countries have the misconception that American women are indiscriminately sexually active. While our culture values independent, self-assured women, be cautious of the image you project and do not allow your self-confidence to lead you into dangerous situations